[steyts-muh n]
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noun, plural states·men.
  1. a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs.
  2. a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.

Origin of statesman

1585–95; state + 's1 + -man, modeled on steersman; compare the phrase ship of state
Related formsstates·man·like, states·man·ly, adjectivesu·per·states·man, noun, plural su·per·states·men.un·states·man·like, adjective

Synonyms for statesman

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1. See politician.

Usage note

See -man. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for statesmen

lawmaker, politician, legislator, statesman

Examples from the Web for statesmen

Contemporary Examples of statesmen

Historical Examples of statesmen

  • It produced no great generals and statesmen and no famous Kings.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Why have there been statesmen who have never ruled, and heroes who have never conquered?

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • By 1490 statesmen were already alarmed at the progress made by enclosure.

  • Emilio Castelar, one of Spain's most noted orators and statesmen.

  • In the Gorgias too the statesmen reappear, but in stronger opposition to the philosopher.



British Dictionary definitions for statesmen


noun plural -men
  1. a political leader whose wisdom, integrity, etc, win great respect
  2. a person active and influential in the formulation of high government policy, such as a cabinet member
  3. a politician
Derived Formsstatesman-like or statesmanly, adjectivestatesmanship, nounstateswoman, fem n
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for statesmen



1590s, after French homme d'état; see state (n.1) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper